By Steve Kim
Thus far in 2018, HBO has a card on January 27th that is co-headlined by Jorge Linares and Lucas Matthysse, then 'SuperFly 2' on February 24th (which both take place at the Forum in Inglewood, California) and then on March 3rd a broadcast that features Sergey Kovalev and a bout between Dmitry Bivol and Sullivan Barrera.
So what else can we expect from the network in the first quarter of the new year?
"I think you'll see beyond the fights you'll see in January, February and March that you just listed, we'll also see the return of Danny Jacobs, we'll see the return of Gennady Golovkin and 'Canelo'(Saul) Alvarez in everyone's hopes will be facing one another and right now they're hunkered down in a negotiations with one another," said Peter Nelson, the Executive V.P. of HBO Sports, to BoxingScene.com. "We remain optimistic about that and while the two sides are talking we feel like the big fight that everyone wants to see will end up happening."
Golovkin and Alvarez fought to a disputed draw last September 16th in Las Vegas. The rematch, like their first encounter, will be distributed on pay-per-view.
As for Jacobs, who began his new multi-fight relationship with HBO on November 11th by defeating Luis Arias, word is that he will return on April 28th and that the Barclay Center in Brooklyn is a likely destination.
As for the rest of the HBO boxing slate, Nelson continued - "I think you'll continue to see the development of fighters that you saw that had breakout performances, whether that's Dmitry Bivol, or whether its Sadam Ali. Again, I think it's 50-50 competition is what we're looking for. That's what creates stars not just putting fighters on TV and hoping that fans will rally around the closure.
"That is proven to be a recipe for mediocrity and that isn't our strategy and we know quite clearly from fans - and including your readership - that's not what fans of the sport want to see.
"They want to see 50-50 fights where anyone can win and they love nothing more than going in thinking that a fight is going to go a particular way and go see an upset.''
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com